Wednesday, Apr 19 — day 24

PCT mile 326.41 to 347.22 (+ 1 mile to McDonalds)

The first goal of the day is to hike over to the PCT’s favorite McDonalds at Cajon Pass on I-15.  

As expected my tent was soaked!  Outside from dew (no rain) and inside from condensation (breathing).  Luckily it was only on the rain fly and not the inner tent, so I carefully removed it, gave it a good shake and hung it up while I packed and ate.  It was still plenty wet so I’ll have to hang it out again at lunch.

I forgot to post my flower pic from yesterday.  This was the darkest orange poppy I have seen.

I hiked out of Lake Silverwood and started climbing ridges again.  Here’s a view looking back at the lake.

I saw some familiar friends along the way – the ubiquitous and skittish blue-belly Lizard, 

and the lethargic gopher snake – this guy/gal did not move and I had to step over him/her.

Looking back I can see some of the mountains I passed through

 At the top of the ridge above Cajon Pass the soil changed from rocky to more clayish and was deeply and steeply eroded.

The trail Went completely around this cliff for about 1/4 mile just 3 feet from the edge.  I wondered if they have to rebuild the trail every few years because it erodes away! 
As I walked down the creekbed to I saw an interesting rock tower the creek was running around

I finally descended to the interstate and was greeted by the his most important PCT sign:

… where I splerged!  There may have been a second Qtr Pounder…

I hung out for quite a while there and more Hikers showed up in drive and drabs. We all compared notes and plans for the next section – a 22 mile uphill with no water.  That’s means I need to carry extra, which means an angry, heavy pack.  Ugh.  I filled every bottle I had with the advertised “filtered”, cold McDonald’s water — 5 liters in total.

I noticed that the fire hydrants near the McDonald’s are locked!  They also have a are labeled “Private”

I guess water is prescious here to others besides me…

One hiker in McD’s, Candido, wanted to see the bottoms of my shoes “just to check…”. I showed him and he said “yep, you have the ‘eye’ footprints” and then he showed me his hiker register:

Not bad!  Here’s a photo of my footprint.

My plan is to hike 8 miles in, up an over and down a smaller ridge and camp in a wide canyon and save the loooong uphill to Guffy Campground for Thursday.

I hiked under I-15, then under and over a couple of Railroad crossings.  The rocks here are great and I remember visiting them as a kid.

The railroad business is doing great here – I’ve been hearing train whistles regularly for the last few days and now I see long strings of double-stacked container cars going by all the time – like every half hot or so!

I’m hiking the ridgetop here

Just as the sun was setting and I had hiked close to where I wanted to camp, I came upon a water cache maintained by a local Trail Angel!  This was perfect because I can save all my water for tomorrow’s hike and replenish tonight and tomorrow morning!  Bonus was a great (meaning flat) campsite nearby!

I cowboy camped here and slept great.  There were the ever present train whistles, but that did not deter me from sleeping.  I was wakened by a yipping pack of coyotes very nearby that were probably upset by my being in their hood.

Thanks for reading!  Also, apologies for odd phrasings or wired words: I’m typing these on my phone (hunt-and-peck) and autocorrections sometimes sneak past me.

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